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NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01)


The Research Project Grant (R01) is the original and historically oldest grant mechanism used by NIH. The R01 provides support for health-related research and development based on the mission of the NIH. R01s can be investigator-initiated or can be in response to a program announcement or request for application. This Web site is devoted to the investigator-initiated R01 application, which means: a good idea and an application, no specific program requirements. However, the R01 research plan proposed by the applicant must be related to the stated program interests of one or more of the NIH Institutes and Centers based on descriptions of their programs.

R01s are most often investigator initiated in response to either the R01 Parent Announcement or a Program Announcement highlighting particular scientific areas.  Requests for Applications (RFAs) may also utilize the R01 mechanism. 

The Grants.gov model requires that all applications, including those that are investigator-initiated, be submitted in response to a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).  The FOAs are posted on Grants.gov Find and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Only the specific application package posted with the FOA can be used for submission. NIH still welcomes unsolicited, investigator-initiated applications. General-use “Parent Announcements” have been created with application packages appropriate for submission of unsolicited research applications. The R01 “Parent Announcement” is PA-07-070.

This link (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/award/resgr.htm) provides information about research grants including the number of funded new and competing R01s, average award dollars and characteristics of research project grants.

The NIH awards R01 grants to organizations of all types (universities, colleges, small businesses, for-profit, foreign and domestic, faith-based, etc.). The R01 mechanism allows an investigator to define the scientific focus or objective of the research based on a particular area of interest and competence. Although the Project Director/Principal Investigator writes the grant application and is responsible for conducting the research, the applicant is the research organization.

Definition of an R01

The Research Project (R01) grant is an award made to support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project to be performed by the named investigator(s) in an area representing the investigator's specific interest and competencies, based on the mission of the NIH.


The NIH is comprised of Institutes and Centers that support specific areas of health-related research and almost all Institutes and Centers at NIH fund R01 grants. Research grant applications are assigned to an Institute or Center based on receipt and referral guidelines, and many applications are assigned to multiple Institutes and Centers as interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research is encouraged. Each Institute and Center maintains a Web site with funding opportunities and areas of interest. These should be reviewed carefully. Contact with an Institute or Center representative may help focus the research plan based on an understanding of the mission of the Institute or Center.

Allowable Costs
  • Salary and fringe benefits for Principal Investigator, key personnel, and other essential personnel
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Consultant costs
  • Alterations and Renovations
  • Publications and miscellaneous costs
  • Contract services
  • Consortium costs
  • Facilities and Administrative costs (indirect costs)
  • Travel expenses
Application Characteristics
  • Applications for an R01 award are not limited in dollars but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Modular applications are most prevalent with modules of $25,000, up to the modular limit of $250,000. U.S. applicants requesting more than $250,000 in annual direct costs and all foreign applicants must complete and submit detailed budget requests using the Research & Related Budget component found in the application package.
  • Applications are generally awarded for 1 - 5 budget periods, each normally 12 months in duration.
  • Applications can be renewed by competing for an additional project period.
  • Supplements and amendments are allowed.
  • Only two revisions of a previously reviewed R01 grant application may be submitted.
  • The Research Plan (Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies, and Research Design and Methods) of an application for an R01 follow the instructions provided in SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

Applicants may also find it helpful to seek advice from an experienced investigator and to contact the Institute or Center most likely to fund their application. NIAID provides an annotated R01 and attached summary statement on its Website http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/app/default.htm.

Standard receipt dates for grant applications are February 5, June 5, and October 5. AIDS and AIDS-related grant application receipt dates are May l, September 1 and January 2. For additional information, the receipt, review and award cycle schedules are posted on: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.

R01 Participating Institutes, Centers and Offices

All Institutes and most Centers at NIH support the R01 grant mechanism. For specific information about the mission of each Institute and Center, this link http://www.nih.gov/icd/ provides access to individual home pages. In addition, the following NIH Offices of the Director do not accept applications, but do provide funding for investigator-initiated R01 applications: